My daughter gave me a rather unique Father’s Day gift this year. The kind of gift you give someone who needs nothing and doesn’t give you any suggestions.
She went online and purchased the gift from StoryWorth. It’s a perfect gift for someone who enjoys writing. StoryWorth sends me a weekly email asking a question about my past. I’m supposed to answer the question with a short story. The length of the answer can be as long or short as I desire.
The package consists of 52 questions. Upon completion, StoryWorth will compile the questions and answers into a book of some kind—not sure of the final product.
However, the questions have done much more for me—they have made me reflect very deeply on my past, which has provided me with tons of additional thoughts I can use as plots for additional short stories—ideas that were beyond my wildest dreams. It’s has been like opening the floodgates to a vast reservoir of experiences and possibilities.
I’m not trying to give a plug for StoryWorth, but if you or someone you know loves to write, I suggest you check their website and see for yourself. It may be the perfect gift for yourself or someone on your list.
The following is the StoryWorth question and my response for week #18.
+++ Week #18 Question +++
“What advice would you give your great grandchildren?”
The advice I would give my great grandchildren is the same advice I gave to my children, grandchildren, and anyone who is willing to listen. Those who actually follow the advice are more likely to achieve higher levels of success in life than those who choose to ignore them. My advice is included in my second novel titled, ON GREEN DIAMONDS: Pursuing a Dream.
To set the scene for you, the following excerpt from my novel is a conversation between Tyler and Gabe after Tyler’s first visit to church. They are discussing the need to follow the Ten Commandments. Gabe uses this moment to tell Tyler about the twenty-two “Rules to Live By” in order to achieve success in life, which were given to him as a young boy by his father.
Excerpt from ON GREEN DIAMONDS
…Tyler came down to our house later that Sunday afternoon and we chatted about all sorts of things. We talked about his first visit to the church and then started discussing the Ten Commandments. I told him what they meant and how important they were to us.
Tyler said, “We sure don’t want to break those rules.”
“No, we don’t because they are very important. I also have some rules you should learn to live by.”
“What are your rules, Uncle Gabe?”
“My rules are about how to live your life. They were written on an old sheet of paper many years ago and were given to me. Now, I want to give them to you, but you must promise to keep them in a safe place. Tyler, this sheet of paper means more to me than you can imagine. I want you to read these rules every week and make sure you don’t ever forget them. If you try to follow these rules each day, you’ll be successful in life.”
I sat and read the rules to him.
RULES TO LIVE BY
- Spend some time alone each day in prayer asking God to help you be the person He wants you to be. You are in His hands and He is always there for you. All you have to do is ask for His help.
- Obey the Ten Commandments. When you falter, ask the Lord for forgiveness.
- Always give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
- Never laugh at another person’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams aren’t going anywhere.
- Remember that all great achievements involve great risk. Don’t be afraid to try something.
- When you lose, don’t lose the lesson. A loss isn’t the end of the world, but something to learn from and grow to be better the next time you try.
- Always give a hundred percent of yourself in everything you do. You’ll feel better about yourself, whether you win or lose. The joy comes from having given it your best shot.
- Set goals for yourself and give the effort it takes to succeed. You can be anything you want to be, but hard work is the key to success.
- Never judge people by their relatives. They may not like them either.
- Love your family and friends with all your heart. You might get hurt sometimes, but it’s the only way to live life completely.
- When disagreements arise, present your points fairly. Name calling and hitting won’t win the argument for you.
- Talk slowly, but think quickly. It isn’t always what you say, but how you say it.
- Life is full of ups and downs, so stay in control of your emotions. Never get too high or go too low.
- Always be willing to help others because there will come a day when you will need help also.
- Remember the three R’s: Respect for self, Respect for others and Responsibility for all your actions.
- When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it and don’t be afraid to admit it. If you never make a mistake, then you aren’t trying to do anything.
- Don’t let a little dispute spoil a great friendship. A true friend is something special and worth holding on to.
- When you are talking to someone, always maintain eye contact. It is a sign of confidence and signals that you’re paying attention to what they are saying.
- Eat healthy foods. Your body needs all food groups to develop properly.
- Whenever you say, “I love you,” think before you say it and mean it. It isn’t to be used lightly.
- Always, always remember, a true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart. You can be a true friend to someone else by touching their heart today.
- Read these rules every week. Only you can change you, so don’t wait. Start doing it today!
End of Excerpt
On a personal note, I believe in the Ten Commandments and try to obey them each day of my life. Unfortunately, like many others, I sometimes go astray and ask God to forgive me when I do—to help me walk on the right path.
Just as Gabe believed the twenty-two “Rules to Live By” helped him in life, I feel the same way. I try to follow these guidelines and know they played a major role in my successes in life.
If you want to be successful, and I hope you do, follow the advice given above—it will make a positive difference in your future.
Now, look at the first letter of each word in the title of my novel, ON GREEN DIAMONDS and you’ll see OGD. Do you notice anything significant about those three letters? If you rearrange them, they will spell the word GOD. Since I don’t believe in coincidences, maybe there’s a hidden message here—sometimes we need to rearrange our lives to make things work better for us on our path to achieve success.
I pray God blesses you each day as you travel on your path to success and understanding.
TIME FOR YOUR THOUGHTS
- Do you know what the Ten Commandments are? Do you obey them?
- Do you think the “Rules to Live By” could help you in life?
- Are you going to use them to help you be the best you can be? I sure hope you will.
- Have you read ON GREEN DIAMONDS? The novel references the twenty-two rules in real life situations throughout the story. Read it and you may enjoy it—you may even learn something about yourself. See the photo of the rules below.
END OF STORY
Tom Tatum – Author – 2019
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum
Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels